Nineties fashions are back in style for young people, to the chagrin of twentysomethings who threw away their tattoo chokers and Steve Madden slides back when 98° went on hiatus. (They have not broken up.) As of today, even toddlers can participate in the trend, thanks to a new clothing line from Kanye and Kim Kardashian West that looks like it could have been pilfered directly from my fifth-grade classroom.
Kids Supply opened its online store for presale Friday with an initial offering of 16 items, including dresses, T-shirts, sweatpants, and hats. Sizes are on the small size, ranging from a 2 to a 7/8, and prices are on the large size, ranging from a $22 choker to a $240 silk bomber jacket. Considering this store is run by one of the world’s most extravagant couples, those are pretty accessible price points.
The question is, why would anyone buy luxury garments for a child? Children are known to spill, fall, rip things, not care about reality TV stars, roll in dirt, boycott clothing lines owned by Trump apologists, insist on wearing the same pudding-stained undershirt for three weeks straight, and above all, grow. A $125 100-percent silk slipdress with lace trim is not a practical purchase for a toddler, and dressing a child up in what looks like lingerie is not a practical parenting strategy for an adult.
Luckily, lookalike versions of almost all the pieces of clothing in the Kimye line can be had for a fraction of the cost at any discount shopping center near you. A camouflage sweatpant-and-hoodie set costs $125 at Kid Supply, while Walmart carries nearly identical pants for $10. The logo shirts and pants are exactly what Carhartt sells, except their clothes say Carhartt, a reputable outdoor brand, instead of Calabasas, a bougie L.A. suburb that’s home to the Cheesecake Factory’s corporate headquarters. A black cotton T-shirt with red flames on it is $45 from Kimye. It is also tacky as hell and a favorite of the “troubled” boys in my middle school, but if you must, there’s a button-down version for $14 on eBay and a flaming Thrasher shirt at Zumiez if your kid likes skateboarding. But seriously, just go to Walmart. You’ll find it.
The weirdest part of Kids Supply might be its logo, which appears on baseball caps and T-shirts. It looks far too much like the marketing materials for Kids, the 1995 Larry Clark/Harmony Korine film. If there’s one cultural reference parents should want to avoid associating with their children, it’s a film notorious for depictions of rape, HIV transmission, and drug abuse among young teens. Someone should give Kanye a heads-up that he might have missed this connection, but it looks like he’s deleted his social media accounts? In the meantime, parents, guardians, and tots with credit cards can feel good about throwing down $22 for an elastic choker in pink or black. They’re adjustable, so they can grow as a kid ascends through kindergarten, and they look just like the bra-strap headbands I predict will be the next ’90s trend to complete a Saturn return.